Native American Heritage Month

202nd Army Band’s Woodwind Quintet, “Kentucky Windage” performed at the Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington, Ky., Dec. 13, 2018 during the Mary’s Bicentennial Birthday Bash (left to right:  Staff Sgt. Michael Embury, bassoon player and Sgt. Brandon Tagarook, French Horn player).

(Frankfort, Ky.) – Sgt. Brandon Tagarook, an Alaskan Native, joined the Kentucky National Guard in 2005.  He joined the Guard because of his brothers and his love of music.

“My brothers joined the Kentucky Army National Guard shortly after 9/11 and their willingness to serve inspired me to look into joining as well,” said Tagarook.  “I have a long history of playing the French Horn.  I started playing in middle school and after discovering that the 202nd Army Band existed, I found the perfect opportunity to join.”

In 1991, Tagarook’s family moved to Danville, Kentucky, where the Great American Brass Band Festival took place.  Every year the 202nd Army Band performed.  “That festival was one of the biggest inspirations to me as a musician. Watching some of the world’s greatest ensembles perform at such a high level was always an honor to witness so it absolutely blew my mind when I discovered that the 202nd Army Band was a consistent staple to the festival.”

Now as a band member, Tagarook gets to perform at the same event every year that inspired him to become a musician.

When not playing music and entertaining audiences, Tagarook works at Joint Force Headquarters in G1 as the state awards NCO, personnel services branch accessions NCO and state passport acceptance agent. 

“Sgt. Tagarook is a tireless worker and is a vital piece within the G1,” said Col. Douglas Clay, deputy chief of staff, personnel.  “His efforts are instrumental in the processing and presentation of state and federal awards for our personnel.”

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